Florence R. Ponder

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

PETERSBURG—Florence Rebecca Ponder, “Becky,” “Sis,” died on March 31, 2007, surrounded by family and friends after a significant bout with lung cancer.

Mrs. Ponder was born Oct. 18, 1927, in Sutherland to the late Mildred and James Oliver Williams.

She attended nursing school at the former Petersburg General Hospital and was employed there as a nurse for a short time before moving to Central State Hospital to complete her nursing career.

While at Central State, she initially served as a geriatric nurse before becoming the unit administrator of the Forensic Unit. She later served as the unit administrator of the Adolescent Unit and ultimately retired at Central State after more than 30 years of service.

As “Sis” and the oldest daughter of eight children, she was known by a multitude of family and extended family as the sister and sometimes mother to several of her siblings and nieces and nephews.

As “Becky” she was known to friends and neighbors as a loving, caring woman who loved living in spite of the illness that tried to overwhelm her.

She was married to the late Leonard Floyd Ponder for 58 years. She was a caring member of Kenwood United Methodist Church in Dinwiddie County.

Survivors include her sons, Leonard Kenneth Ponder and his wife Sharon of Dinwiddie County and J. Michael Ponder, M.D. and his wife Ruth of Franklin; three grandchildren, Rebecca, Evan and Kylee of Franklin and two step-grandchildren, Julie Barron Morrill of Milton, Mass. and Christopher Barron of Atlanta.; two devoted sisters, Louise Dayvault of Sutherland and Mary Alice Guthrie of Dinwiddie; and one brother, Wilber Williams of Matoaca; a multitude of nieces and nephews, most especially Penny Thomas and David Dayvault who assisted with her health needs during her cancer and many friends who lovingly cared for her as well.

She was predeceased by her husband, “Tex”; her son, Pat who died last year; her brothers, James Randolph, John Albert Williams and Tommy Williams; and a sister, Kitty Wright.

There will be a graveside service at 2 p.m. today at Ocran Methodist Church in Sutherland for family and friends. A memorial service will follow at 7 p.m. at Kenwood United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Becky Ponder Memorial at Kenwood United Methodist Church, 25200 Ritchie Ave., Petersburg, VA 23803. Condolences may be registered at www.ealvinsmall.com.